The Providence of God Displayed!

Posted Jul 31, 2011 by Graham Tierney in General Hits: 14,676

 


The Providence of God Displayed!

A Testimony

(Emphasis in Scripture and S of P quotes supplied)

The work of God calls for men of high moral powers to engage in its promulgation.  Men are wanted whose hearts are nerved with holy fervor, men of strong purpose who are not easily moved, who can lay down every selfish interest and give all for the cross and the crown.  The cause of present truth is suffering for men who are loyal to a sense of right and duty, whose moral integrity is firm and whose energy is equal to the opening providence of God.  Such qualifications as these are of more value than untold wealth invested in the work and cause of God.  Energy, moral integrity, and strong purpose for the right are qualities that cannot be supplied with any amount of gold. Men possessing these qualifications will have influence everywhere.  Their lives will be more powerful than lofty eloquence.  God calls for men of heart, men of mind, men of moral integrity, whom He can make the depositoriesof His truth, and who will correctly represent its sacred principles in their daily life. Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 23. {ChL 17.1}

THE INTRODUCTION:

It is important to be able to correctly understand this testimony and the circumstances depicted in it. Therefore it is important for readers to know that I am no longer a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church having been dis-fellowshipped in the 1990’s. I am however, still a Seventh-day Adventist by faith. More so, I am a declared Historic Seventh-day Adventist by the grace of God and The Faith of our Fathers, the Seventh-day Adventist Pioneers.

Before I get to the part of this testimony where the absolute providence of God was displayed in my recent life, there is also a need to confess that my dis-fellowship cannot be placed on the heads of the Church Board where my membership was held at the time. Neither can it be laid at their feet,  because by my spirit and actions I caused my own dismissal. A series of decisions and actions that I have long since repented of and confessed to our God have been forgiven. Nonetheless, my spirit and subsequent actions at the time caused great unrest to my brethren and myself and great sadness to my Saviour. To this day, I deeply regret my then spirit and actions because they, even today have severely limited my influence in witnessing for the True God, our Heavenly Father and His literal Son Christ Jesus, especially among our church brethren.

The need to share this first part of my testimony is necessary so that readers can gain a comparison between the working of the spirit of Satan in man, and the outcomes, compared to the working of the Spirit of Christ in man, with totally different outcomes that are supplied through the Holy Spirit of The Father and His Son, Christ Jesus.

THE PAST:

Prior to my dis-fellowship I had spent time studying from the Scriptures the subject of the Godhead and had been given, of God, insight into the true nature, makeup and function of the Godhead and our Heavenly Father’s true relationship with His only begotten Son John 3:16 -18.I had also studied the historical background to the formulation of the Trinity doctrine. After careful study I realized that the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the true nature of God were opposed and so profoundly opposite as to be frightening.No wonder that the messenger of the Lord, in writing about the omega of apostasy stated I tremble for our people. 1 Sermons and Talks p 341

I also discovered that the Trinity doctrine had never been accepted by the men and women, the Adventist Pioneers, whom God had called out of the “fallen churches of Babylon” in the 1830’s and 1840’s, for the purpose of re-establishing His Church upon Earth when the “woman was coming out of the wilderness” Rev 12:14.

I further realized that from 1969 (baptism), until about 1992 (study), I had carelessly accepted what the current Seventh-day Adventist Church believed and taught, without question or study. However, that DID NOT excuse me or clear me from the guilt of the sin of idolatry and many years later, in 2009, God told me that I had to repent of that sin.

Instead of treating my position and newly acquired knowledge as privileged and a blessing, I became very pious and self centred in my knowledge, and believe me it is easy to get that mindset when you continually think and speak of your church as “worldly”, “in apostasy”, “already constitutes Babylon”, “is fast becoming Babylon” or “being incorporated”, “taking brethren to the courts of the world over the use of the Seventh-day Adventist name”. Please DO NOT think that I am pointing the finger here, I AM NOT, but I am giving my testimony from personal experience that it is easy to form the wrong persona (personality/character) from that type of thinking, even if the thoughts and feelings have a basis in truth!

Yes, it is true that I wanted to share my “newly found” understanding of this truth with my brethren but what I did not realize at the time was this; Inside me I had a totally wrong spirit, so instead of approaching people with a soft approach and a message of blessing, I approached them because I wanted to show them how heretical they were and that I knew more than they did. I was not even born a Seventh-day Adventist (spiritual Jew), I had “stumbled”, by God’s grace, into His church family, and I was zealous toward God Acts 22:3 (read Acts 22 and you will get my meaning). I started the war armed to the teeth with “full magazines” of Scriptural verses and Spirit of Prophecy (S of P) quotes and attacked on all fronts.

Without going into detail here, I now know that I had been conditioned in earlier life experiences to act this way and Satan, as always, took advantage of that.

Is it any wonder that I was astounded and more than a little angry and pompous when I approached the leaders and laity alike and they did not see the truth of the message as I saw it! Not only that, they began to strongly reject my advances because of my aggressive approach. As a consequence I lost credibility with my leaders and peers and therefore the opportunity to speak for Jesus was negated.

I must mention at this point, as far as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit truth is concerned, I also lost credibility with my own son, his wife and three grandchildren. They remain staunch Seventh-day Adventists to this day and of course are still Trinitarian, like I was originally, and although I have given them DVD’s and other material and spoken on the subject to them they have not listened, because as far as they are concerned I have “jumped ship and left the faith”.

In all this turmoil and strife church life and Christianity in general began to grow darker and unsatisfying which led to gaps in attendance, which really was a fruit of where I was at spiritually but I did not recognise it then. As a result I became more troubled in my spirit. This led to further confrontations with the pastor, elders and laity, but undaunted and still armed with my ammunition (supportive evidence) my anger continued to rise with every rejection of what I knew in my head, not my heart, was truth.

I was censured by the church, which is like being placed on a “good behaviour bond”and I was relieved of all church duties including teaching Sabbath School. Needless to say that did not cure my anger and frustration but merely heightened it. My rebellion against elected local church authority became stronger and after a time another censure was given which put my spirit, then controlled by Satan, 2 Tim 2:26, right off the Richter scale, and ultimately the Church Board had no other course but to dismiss me from fellowship.

In those days a dissenter’s name was removed from the church roll and they were forbidden to enter onto church grounds, even to visit someone.

From Brother Corey’s experience it seems to be a little different these days. I again praise God for giving Brother Corey of His Spirit, through which he gets the willingness to submit to God’s Delegated Authority and is able to continue witnessing for the truth among the brethren.

How much harm a wrong personality accompanied by wrong decisions and actions, can do to Jesus’ cause of winning souls to His Kingdom, even when we believe we have the truth with the Scriptural and S of P evidence to support it? I didn’t realise until years later that I was holding the truth in unrighteousness Rom. 1:18.

Unfortunately all this had a serious affect upon my relationship with Christ Jesus and although I still attended various SDA churches with my son and family on special occasions, I soon found myself compromising the Sabbath and the health message.

I drifted from one “independent ministry” to another. In Australia they had grown like fungi after 1980, but I could not find long term peace within any of them, and I soon found out that many of them had the same critical views of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as I had developed. This gratified me for a time but never completely satisfied the emptiness of my soul.

In addition there were some Independent Groups which maintained the Trinitarian god in their teachings and had separated from the church on other issues. This in turn led to complex talks with some independent leaders, where the same spirit which had been in attendance with me at my former church surfaced again, however, this time that “familiar” spirit was generally coming from both sides of the discussions. This was dissatisfaction plus and I found myself in a “where do I go from here situation”?

At one time, through contact with an overseas independent ministry and inviting visiting speakers to Australia, some friends and I formed a fellowship group and for a number of years God blessed and it grew. I even became its leader for several years and we enjoyed warmth and harmony in the message of The Father and The Son and Their Omniscient Spirit and the other foundation SDA doctrines. However, Satan had not finished with us yet and as the numbers expanded with unsatisfied people, some from other denominations and others from the world joining us; it was not long before disharmony began to come in. There were leadership challenges as well as doctrinal differences so the group began to split again and I, for those and more personal reasons left altogether.

There is a definite danger in starting up independent groups like I have described.

This was a difficult period for me because I found it hard to maintain a Christian perspective without fellowship with people of like belief so I will fast forward about 6 years to 2009.

THE HEALING:

In January 2009 God spoke to me through a DVD message entitled Ham and the Rise of Worthlessness. Through that message I met Brother Adrian and thus began the journey along “The Road to Freedom”.

The regaining of my spiritual identity through the reading of the books Identity Wars, The Return of Elijah and Life Matters, along with watching other dvd’s such as, Born Again, Lessons from Israel on The New Birth, The Doctrinal Implications of The Two Kingdoms, God’s Delegated Agencies and many others which had a decided impact upon my thinking and life in general. I also had lots of discussions with Adrian and began to find a peace that I can truly say I had never experienced before. My inner spirit was definitely changing for the better.

THE NEED of PRAYER:

At this point I will especially mention the dvd God’s Delegated Agencies because watching that had a most dramatic affect on my thinking as to where the Seventh-day Adventist Church currently stands in God’s thinking!

I believe The Lord led me back and led me to again read Daniel 9, that revealing record of Daniel’s prayer for his people Israel (God’s Church). I read it more deeply and found that Daniel, in his prayer to God, had placed himself firmly in the midst of his people and their sins, he included himself as in need of repentance cleansing and forgiveness! Then I began to realize what I had to do:

Not be critical and not be rebellious against but pray for the Seventh–day Church leadership and church authority!

I began to pray three times daily for the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide and particularly the divisional leaders, union leaders, conference leaders and church pastors in Australasia. The more I prayed the more I detected that my character began to soften, not only toward our church, its leaders and people, but toward people in general and I knew that the power to transform my thinking on such matters had not come from me. I knew from the experience of my dis-fellowship that, if left to my own devices and thinking, I was the exact opposite to how I was feeling then.

There have been many revealed answers to prayer and I praise our Heavenly Father and His Literal Son Christ Jesus for that. There are also many prayer items to which I don’t get “feedback”, but I know that they are all heard and will be answered, according to Their Will and time. The main thing is to keep praying and it is a most challenging, rewarding and life changing experience. See 1 Thess. 5:17 and James 5:15-16

I joined the website godhead.com which has since become www.maranathamedia.com and I have met, at least electronically, some of God’s most wonderful, gifted and studious people from all around the world and I firmly believe that the words of hymn # 528 “The Lord’s our Rock” depicts our current situation. He has provided this electronic haven for His people to rest and learn more about Him and His Father and Their plan for our lives. It is most certainly a “shelter in a time of storm”! A place where we can share our testimonies, thoughts and difficulties, and a place to learn how to share our faith in the right spirit and where we collectively pray for our church and the people that we love within it, until such a time as He (Christ Jesus) is ready to lead us forward in sharing the Truth of The Father, His literal and only begotten Son, along with the Three Angel’s Messages, which will bring to an end the war and rebellion, hatred and jealousy, which began in heaven so long ago.

I wish to mention here my reading of Ezekiel. 9:4 which I believe God also used to show me where my own thinking had been wrong. In this verse the first thing that I noticed was that the “the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” are inside the city (Jerusalem/Zion), and the man clothed with linen, with the writers inkhorn by his side” (v 3), the recorder of thoughts and actions, is instructed to “go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem”, so the “men” (people) that were to receive the “mark of God” are inside the city among God’s people (the wheat and the tares), but they are doing something different from those that will ultimately be “slaughtered” (Vs 5-6), they are “sighing and crying for the abominations that are being done in the midst thereof”. (v 4). To me “sighing and crying” means praying to God for mercy, repentance and revival for their brethren and to me the “abominations” means sins, and perhaps worship of false gods like the Trinity. I say this because a reading of chapter 8 appears to support the thought.

To me, both the books of Daniel and Ezekiel are set with examples of how we as a people are to act today, especially so because we are at the end of time.

In the compilation book, Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White (CET) in chapter 32, the messenger of the Lord uses Ezekiel 9:1; 3-6 to support a later statement:

The crisis is fast approaching. The time for God's visitation has about come. Although loth to punish, nevertheless He will punish, and that speedily. Those who walk in the light will see signs of the approaching peril; but they are not to sit in quiet, unconcerned expectancy of the ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that God will shelter His people in the day of visitation. Far from it. They should realize that it is their duty to labor diligently to save others, looking with strong faith to God for help”. "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16. {CET 186.3}
The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its power. At the time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in behalf of the church, because its members are doing after the manner of the world. {CET 186.4}
The earnest prayers of this faithful few will not be in vain. When the Lord comes forth as an avenger, He will also come as a protector of all those who have preserved the faith in its purity, and kept themselves unspotted from the world. It is at this time that God has promised to avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them. {CET 187.1}

The day of God's vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land.

I acknowledge that not everyone can stay inside the church and that there are individual circumstances to consider, but we can all pray for guidance for ourselves in those circumstances. However, we are indeed admonished to pray for the church. Name calling will accomplish nothing positive, because we still are or once were part of the offending organisation, and the majority of us still love it dearly. So does our God!

THE PRESENT:

After living in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia for about 5 years, on January 22nd 2010, God arranged for my wife Harmina and I to move to Mildura, Victoria, Australia some 450km (280miles) North West. We felt impressed to move here and we were given a specific purpose of connecting with the local pastor who was a good friend of a dear friend of mine. We bought a house and began to pray about the connection . We had not been to an SDA church, except as casual infrequent visits with family, for a number of years but God was leading.

We found the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mildura proper, and we attended there on Sabbath 30th January 2010. Christ had made this possible by helping me alter my thinking and giving me of His Spirit. To be honest we came away disappointed. I don’t know what we expected IF anything, because I had not discussed it with Harmina and it had not entered my mind to expect anything. We were going to church to worship our God (Father and Son) on Their Holy day and in our hearts we did that and were blessed.

The following Sabbath 6th February 2010 we went to the same church where we found the Sabbath School class that we joined less friendly than the week before and the worship service loud with music and the hymns “charismatic” but we worshiped our God with all our heart, with all our might and with all our strength and were blessed.

During the next week we invited the Mildura pastor to our home to introduce ourselves. We were open with him as to our belief and faith and that we did not worship a trinity of gods! He listened intently, was understanding and friendly, but showed little emotion. He did not defend the Trinity or discredit our belief. It was an amicable first meeting and on the following Sabbath we again went to Mildura, but the atmosphere was not to our liking so we determined to not visit there again.

The next week we discovered there was another Seventh-day Adventist Church over the border in New South Wales at a small town named Dareton and that the same pastor ministered there as well so, on the next Sabbath, 20th February 2010 we attended that church and found the atmosphere warm and friendly and the service typical old Adventist style. God had led us to our place of worship and fellowship.

THE PURPOSE AND PROVIDENCE OF GOD REVEALED:

We continued to worship at Dareton and after about 6 Sabbath attendances I was asked by a church elder if I would teach the Sabbath School lesson the next Sabbath. I was surprised and informed the elder that I was not a member of the SDA church; he replied that it was not a problem. The providence of God was at work again.

The next Sabbath the lesson was on Jonathan, son of King Saul, and Jonathan’s relationship to and respect for his earthly father, the reigning King of Israel. The lesson also highlighted Jonathan’s relationship to and respect for David, who was to be the future King of Israel.

Prior to opening the lesson God also provided time for me to give a short testimony about my dis-fellowship in the 1990’s, my characteristics and wrong spirit at the time, my non-triune god belief, my now deep conviction for respect to God’s Delegated Authority, my praying for the repentance of the Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership and members for worshiping such a god. Then I went into the lesson and emphasised, over and above Jonathan’s unquestionable bravery, his and David’s respect for God’s Delegated Authority Jonathan's earthly father King Saul.

After church had concluded a lot of people came and thanked me for my candidness and said they had enjoyed the lesson. The elder who had asked me to take the lesson also come over and asked me to go on the permanent teaching roster. The Spirit of Christ was not only working in my heart but their’s as well.

Over time friendships developed, the teaching arrangement continued and the Spirit of God provided further opportunities to share my belief and faith both in the Sabbath school and privately. I continued to look for, and God provided, opportunities to witness for The Father and His Literal Son and Their omnipresent Spirit. None of this would have been possible had I not been there with a God given “friendly” and “understanding” manner.

On Sabbath June 4 2011, I was asked to preach and God led me to share the topic The Wisdom of God and although there were some brethren “unsettled in spirit” afterward, the positive is that God spoke to their hearts and they heard the message, and afterward, fully expecting to be removed, I was still on the “teaching roster”. All praise to God! However, the friendship with certain folk appeared to become strained.

I do not know what the outcome will be, but this I do know, since we have been here we have felt the providence of God and He is leading us and I am reminded of the words of Mordecai to his niece Esther:
Who knoweth, whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

What a totally different outcome to the circumstance I described earlier in my testimony.

What a difference it makes to have a teachable and submissive spirit!

Jesus said: Without me ye can do nothing John 15:5

In closing I highly recommend the reading of all the books highlighted in this testimony and similarly the watching of all the dvd's mentioned. Please also consider praying for our beloved church. Time is almost at an end!

I praise God and thank you for listening!